Fast Lane: BMW 8-series Gran Coupe about $600,000

BMW 8-series Gran Coupe
BMW 8-series Gran Coupe.PHOTO: BMW
Hyundai Palisade.
Hyundai Palisade.PHOTO: HYUNDAI
Hyundai Venue.
Hyundai Venue.PHOTO: HYUNDAI
Aston Martin Valhalla.
Aston Martin Valhalla.PHOTO: ASTON MARTIN
Mercedes-AMG GT 63S
Alpine’s A110S.
Alpine’s A110S.PHOTO: ALPINE
Renault Zoe.
Peugeot e-2008.
Peugeot e-2008.PHOTO: PEUGEOT

BMW 8-series Gran Coupe about $600,000

Four-door coupes may be a misnomer, but they are the rage. Take the BMW 8-series Gran Coupe, which has just broken cover, following the two-door coupe and convertible.

In four-door styling, the Gran Coupe offers more room, with a 2+1 rear seating configuration. The M850i xDrive version gets a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8, which makes 530hp and 750Nm of torque. Power is transmitted to all wheels via a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. It is estimated to cost slightly above $600,000 (with a certificate of entitlement) when it arrives here at the end of the year or early next year.

Volkswagen ID battery to come with 160,000km warranty

Volkswagen guarantees its ID batteries will retain at least 70 per cent capacity for eight years or 160,000km. Batteries in the ID range of electric cars can accommodate a charging capacity of up to 125kW, which means they can be charged very quickly.

A new range of Volkswagen wall boxes will make rapid charging a reality at home too. The first ID, a Golf-sized hatch, will be launched before year-end. It has a range of 550km, equivalent to some petrol models.

Hyundai SUVs unveiled

Hyundai Motor showcased two new sport utility vehicles (SUVs) at its Global Distributors Convention at JW Marriott South Beach this week. The eight-seater Palisade, the brand's biggest SUV yet, will appeal to those who want a BMW X5-sized multi-seater with a smaller sticker price, while the Venue compact crossover boasts an unusually roomy interior for its small footprint.

The Palisade will be equipped with either a 2.2-litre turbodiesel or 3.5-litre V6 normally aspirated petrol paired with an eight-speed autobox. The Venue will have a 1.6-litre mated to a continuously-variable transmission. Both are expected to arrive by next year.

Only 500 units of Aston Martin Valhalla to be built

Formerly identified by its codename AM-RB 003, Aston Martin's latest mid-engined hypercar collaboration with Red Bull Advanced Technologies and Adrian Newey has been officially named the Aston Martin Valhalla.

Employing lightweight construction methods and radical aerodynamics pioneered in the Aston Martin Valkyrie, Valhalla will be propelled by a combination of high-efficiency, high-output turbocharged V6 petrol engine and battery-electric hybrid system. Just 500 Coupe examples of the all-carbon fibre hypercar will be built.

Mercedes-AMG GT in four-door

The biggest and baddest AMG is here, tempting those with a need for speed and space. The Mercedes-AMG GT 63S is a four-door, all-wheel-drive with a 4-litre biturbo V8 making 639hp and 900Nm. It flies to 100kmh in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 315kmh. Drift mode makes track-side shenanigans a cinch.

The GT 53 is somewhat tamer, with a 3-litre turbo inline-six producing 435hp and 520Nm. It goes to 100kmh in 4.5 seconds and reaches a top velocity of 285kmh.

Versus the coupe, the four-door is noticeably bigger at 5,054mm by 1,953mm by 1,447mm, with a wheelbase of 2,951mm. This compares with 4,544mm by 1,939mm by 1,288mm and a wheelbase of 2,630mm for the two-door. The GT 53 is $553,888, while the GT 63 is $748,888. Prices include the certificate of entitlement.

Sharper Alpine for everyday use

Alpine's A110S is a lighter, more powerful and better equipped version of the A110. It has 292hp pulling a kerb weight of 1,114kg, and promises to be engaging to drive at all speeds while still being comfortable in everyday use.

New faster, longer-lasting Renault Zoe

Renault's new Zoe electric hatch comes with a 100kw motor powered by a 52kWh battery. It has a range of close to 390km, with faster charging via an optional 50kW direct current charger. A new regenerative braking B Mode allows single-pedal driving. That makes it faster and longer-lasting on the go than the current Zoe. It could arrive by next year.

Women more decisive car buyers online

Women are 71 per cent more likely to buy a car online than men, according to a United Kingdom analysis of visitor behaviour in the traditional and Internet car retail environments.

According to online motor retailer BuyaCar, not only are women who visit more decisive buyers than men, but they are also significantly more likely to order a car than women who visit a traditional dealership.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, women account for about 34 per cent of all car purchases in the traditional dealer environment, despite forming around half of all showroom traffic. But at, just over 40 per cent of car orders come from women even though almost three times as many men visit the site.

Honda e to feature water-cooled 35.5kWh battery

Honda has revealed more details of its electric hatch. The Honda e will be the first Honda to be built on a dedicated electric vehicle platform. The car will feature a water-cooled 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery that can be charged using either Type 2 alternate current connection or a CCS2 DC rapid charge with at-a-glance LED indication of charging status.

The battery is positioned centrally at a low level within the wheelbase under the floor of the car, resulting in a 50:50 weight distribution and a low centre of gravity. Power is delivered to the rear wheels and the car sits on independent suspension all round.

Peugeot 2008 with electric variant

Peugeot has launched a new compact crossover: the 2008. It comes with an electric variant, the e-2008, powered by a 100kW motor and 50kWh battery capable of nearly 310km on a full charge. With a fast charger, the car's battery can be replenished to 80 per cent in 30 minutes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2019, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe